*** You can read part ONE and part TWO of Ask GapGirl by hitting the links or ask me a question HERE ***
MY VERY FIRST TWO BABY GIRLS
Can you give me advice in how to improve my relationship with my daughter?
How do you keep an open line of communication and closeness with your girls?
When do you have the body talk?
Im not an expert in raising girls, but perhaps after my Penelope leaves the nest I can say I am! Ha!
No, Im just kidding. My oldest is on the verge of turning 14 and although im just sticking my big toe into the teenage years, I can honestly say so far so good.
I credit a lot to homeschooling. Being around your children all the time not only improves the relationship, but also creates a bond with the family that just won't happen when you stick them on the bus. This doesn't mean I will never send them back to public school. That could be very near in their future for all I know. I take one day at a time, but I do know they are not surrounded by 1 million different influences that tear the very basic family unit apart.
But regardless of whether you homeschool or public school, there are many many ways to make sure you and your child are on the same wave length.
I am a firm believer in capturing your childs heart. They are going to find somewhere to stick their loyalty and trust no matter what... so its up to you to make sure they give it to you. Each family is different .
At night is when I really am able to listen to their hearts and improve our relationship. During the day it sometimes gets crazy. Its go go go go go but at night when the little kids are in bed and I had some decompressing time, the older girls come alive. Sometimes I will be in my room watching tv and they will just come in and chat away. As much as I just want to be alone, I know THIS moment is the moment their hearts need to be heard. We talk about anything and everything. They know that they can come with me and discuss anything under the sun. Same with their dad. Nothing is off limits. They relax on my bed and we laugh and talk and I give advice.
Same in the car. Whoever gets a turn sitting in the front seat gets my ear... and I have found this is the best time to chat. They think and they talk and they share. Sometimes I want nothing more than to just sit in silence and just drive but I know these moments will come and go. So I take them as they come.
I also notice any changes in behavior and will ask them if anything is wrong. When we come home from church I ask them a million questions about their night in youth group, or drama practice or church. who they sat with, what they did. This gives me a glimpse into their life. They know its normal and this often sparks conversations that would not have happened if I would have just said...
"How was your night?"
and let them walk away.
Tweens and teens come alive at night... when us parents just want to sleep. Such is life. Parenting is non-stop selfless service and the rewards are astounding!
As I am raising my daughters I will NEVER be their bestie but I will be a friend. Our relationship is in the process of changing as they gets older and I hope and pray that I have instilled enough trust in them that they seeks me out for advice on navigating thru this world.
Talk to your daughter, listen to your daughter, make time for your daughter and provide a stable environment where they feel secure and loved and wanted. Their home needs to be a rock of stability in a world where everything gets shaken....
As far as the body talk. I had it with my oldest at age 11. We talk very openly about periods and changes and body care... I had the talk with my second daughter at age 9 because she would hear me talk to my oldest. Even though Molly is only 6 she too knows some things about body changes simply because she has older sisters.
Having daughters is one of lifes greatest blessings. I love the young women they are becoming and I can't wait to see what God has in store for their life!